Been Searching For You Book Tour
August 14th – 20th, 2016
A Guest Post by Nicole:
Inspiration for Been Searching for You’s Main Characters
For me, characters sometimes have different inspirations for who they are and what they look like. So I’m going to give you both because each one impacts their thoughts and behaviors, just as it does us.
Who she is: Our heroine. Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who has never given up on her dream of finding her one true love. She wants to get married to someone for whom love and fidelity have meaning. Because of that, she can be seen as naïve, even old-fashioned in this world where hookups are normal and sex doesn’t mean what it used to. But she’s also dealing with the emotional fallout from a traumatic experience years before with Nick, so she has trust issues when it comes to men and sex that she needs to get over.
Why I made her this way: I felt like a lot of women have trust issues, so that was something readers could relate to. I also wanted to show a character who is a virgin far later in life than most people deem acceptable. They do exist. I know a few. She’s not waiting for marriage, but she also has her reasons being the way she is. Plus, most romance readers are romantics at heart, so they would be able to relate to her desire to be with her soul mate
What she looks like: Average height, slender, freckles, brown hair and eyes.
Who I imagine playing her: Ashley Clements from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (who also happens to be the narrator of the audio book version of Been Searching for You). The character was originally inspired by British actress Nadine Lewington, whom I saw on an episode of Inspector Lewis.
Who she is: The frienemy. Mia was rich from birth thanks to her lawyer father. If that wasn’t reason enough to always want her way, she’s a supermodel. She does what she wants, when she wants, no matter who she hurts in the process. Mia is Annabeth’s close friend since Annabeth moved to Chicago, but also because Mia is Miles’ girlfriend. She thinks Annabeth is backward and needs to join the 21st century in her thinking about love.
Why I made her this way: Everyone loves a bitch, right? Well, we have one in spades with Mia. The snarky nature of the relationship between Mia and Annabeth reflects an interesting trend between young women, the likelihood that at least one in their close group will stab them in the back at some point in their friendship. I’ve had a few frienemies in my time and Mia is partially based on those experiences.
What she looks like: Very tall, long read hair, long legs, thin.
Who I imagine playing her: Kathleen Robertson (with the red hair she had in Scary Movie 2)
Who he is: Our hero. Alex is a literature professor who just got out of a long-term relationship, which ended very badly. He’s about as romantic as Annabeth is and is fond of grand gestures to show his love.
Why I made him this way: I needed Alex to be both relatable and the reader’s dream guy, so I made his previous relationship end in a way we are all too familiar with: cheating. But because he’s a romantic, he won’t let that stop him from grandly pursuing the women he’s interested in. I am not a fan of alpha males, so I made him more beta on purpose so that women like me had a hero that didn’t make them roll their eyes. Alex is sensitive, educated, cultured and rich. What more could a girl ask for?
What he looks like: Tall, slightly muscled, but not like a typical alpha. Dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, a bit of stubble.
Who I imagine playing him: I actually based his looks on a model whose name I can’t remember. The closest celebrity I’ve found is Bradley Cooper, but even that’s not quite right.
Who he is: The villain. Can we say bad-boy? That would be Nick. He’s Annabeth’s ex, the one who made her have trust issues. Now he’s back, bringing his signature blend of charm and jackassery (Yes, that is word. I made it one.) with him. He’s a “sorry, not sorry” type who is really all about what benefits him. His relationship with Annabeth is complicated because they’ve known each other since they were kids and he was her first love.
Why I made him this way: I think a lot of women know this love-to-hate type of man. Many are even drawn to him, perhaps even dated a version of him. He’s the kind of guy we think we can fix, and even looking back years later, we wonder if there was something we missed. I needed a foil for Alex, but I also wanted to show how Annabeth’s taste in men has evolved over the years.
What he looks like: He’s a cross between James Dean and Christian from Clueless. Average height, trim, brown hair, bright blue eyes, dimples.
Who I imagine playing him: Sebastian Stan.
Who he is: The best friend. Miles is both Annabeth’s co-worker and best friend. They’ve known each other since college, so they are totally comfortable with one another, but there’s no attraction between them. He acts more like a big brother than anything else to Annabeth. He also lets Mia, his girlfriend, walk all over him.
Why I made him this way: Every heroine needs a best friend and I wanted Annabeth to have someone solid, someone who wasn’t the stereotypical gay best friend that every rom-com seems to have. Miles is a great guy, funny, charming, and loyal. In many ways, he’s everything Annabeth is looking for, but the neither of them have the attraction which is so key. I wanted him to be someone every woman would want as her friend.
What he looks like: African American, tall, big muscles, brown hair and eyes.
Who I imagine playing him: Charles Michael Davis, Marcel on The Originals
Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates. In fact, she’s been writing to hers each year on her birthday since she was 16.
Now, at 34, she’s still holding out hope of finding Mr. Right even though he’d be fighting an uphill battle to gain her trust, thanks to a traumatic experience years before that’s left her unable to commit.
When Annabeth meets a handsome literature professor named Alex on her 34th birthday, she thinks her quest may finally be at an end. Things don’t quite go as planned, so Annabeth resolves to do everything she can over the next year to find the unknown recipient of her letters. But blind dates, Meetup events and online singles sites have nothing on what fate has in store for her when a co-worker unexpectedly quits and Annabeth finds herself working in close quarters with both Alex and her long ago ex, Nick. Fighting her attraction to one and loathing for the other, Annabeth is forced to face all of her old insecurities while keeping an eye on a scheming frienemy who may derail her hopes and dreams.
Written in the tradition of Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kim Gruenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup, and Melissa Pimental’s Love By The Book, it shows that love on the sweet side can exist for the modern girl, if only she’s willing to trust herself and search hard enough.
Been Searching for You was the winner of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.
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About the Author:
Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.
She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.
Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.
Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.
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Visit all the tour stops:
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt
Jena Books – Book Review
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